I recently attended a sister healing circle hosted by a great friend of mine. Over a dozen women came out and we laughed, cried and shared. It was an amazing experience to say the least. One of the topics we discussed was self-love. Hearing so many women talk about their own issues with self-love and how they personally practice it made me reflect on a quote I read recently. “Self love isn’t something to attempt but to remember.” The quote read.
From this I took the following; when we begin to feel like self-love is something we need to attempt to do it becomes another thing to add to our list. Now we have to add self-love to our long list of things to remember to do. Here is another thing that we may possibly not do our best at daily and another reason to feel like we’ve let ourselves down. What if instead of feeling like we don’t already have self-love inside of us, we remember a time when we loved ourselves the most. We reenact what it was that brought us such joy. We all started off loving ourselves before someone told us not to. Do you remember being a child? Just being extremely happy for absolutely no reason at all. You probably loved everything about yourself, until perhaps you started school and some bully felt it was their job to point out what they felt were your flaws. “You have a gap, your clothes are ugly, your hair is weird, you’re fat, you’re skinny, you’re too loud, you’re too quiet.” Maybe that day you went home from school and weren’t so happy. Maybe you started wishing all the things that were now so wrong with you were different.
Now think about all of the things that have been fed to you through the media, society, strangers, perhaps even social media, those pesky things that make you feel not quite as beautiful, as lovable, those things that make you question who you are.
Imagine if you could unlearn those things. If you still felt the same love you had for yourself as a child. The love you felt before anyone gave you any reason on why you were less than deserving of love. Imagine how happy you would be, imagine how much your life would change. Here are five ways to practice the most purest form of love, self-love daily.
1.Care for your body
When you truly love yourself, you recognize the importance of taking care of your body from the inside out and that everything that you put into your body is either helping to heal your body or possibly destroying it. By eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables you are fueling your body with the natural vitamins it needs to heal from within. By exercising you are releasing endorphins which make you happier as well as staying in shape which in turn weeds out all kinds of self-love issues.
2. Stop and smell the roses
Literally and figuratively. If flowers make you happy, smell them every chance you get. Keep your home decked out in plants and flowers because they are known to bring happiness. Take time to enjoy the smallest things that make you happy. If a warm cup of green tea makes you happy, take time to have it every day. If a certain scent makes you happy, apply, burn it in your home, have similar scented candles to light when you simply need a pick me up.
3. Hang out with gal pals
No one knows us like our friends. If you aren’t able to physically see or hang out with a girlfriend every day, call them, text them, make some time to be in touch if only for a few minutes. Having close friends that you can share with, vent to, laugh and cry with is golden. If you are blessed to have a circle of like-minded girlfriends that you can let loose with, cherish them.
4. Treat yourself like a queen
You might not be able to travel overseas or take yourself on lavish shopping trips every single day, but you most certainly can treat yourself like a queen. Treating yourself like a queen means not settling for anyone mistreating you, only feeding your mind, body and soul positivity and avoiding anything that is not aligned with the path you’ve chosen for your life. If you’re able to get or give yourself a mani and pedi, do that. Give yourself a facial, make a sweet body scrub, deep condition your hair, get a massage do things that make you look and feel good.
5. Write it down
We spend so much time taking care of everyone else often times we put ourselves to the back as something we’ll get to later. We have so many thoughts that run through our minds and don’t always want to share them. That is why having a personal journal is so important. Keeping a journal where you can write about your day, your highs and lows and issues that you are having in life is a great way to practice self-love. By simply writing it out you are getting to the bottom of whatever may be going on and releasing any negative energy to free your mind.
If you aren’t currently practicing self-love just remember it. Remember what makes you happy and do it.
How do you practice self-love?
Ashley Renee is a licensed esthetician, makeup artist, natural hair enthusiast, writer and poet from Chicago, residing in Los Angeles! Follow her on instagram @ashleyreneepoet, twitter and personal blog why I Waited